Bolton's Churches up their Green Game

Bolton Green Umbrella | Tuesday 08 December 2020 | 0 Comments

Bolton’s churches are playing their part in cleaning the streets, as well as the planet, with the support of a new group. The Environmental Task and Finish Group, set up during the middle of the first national lockdown, was tasked with helping Bolton’s churches get greener. They recently contacted Bolton Green Umbrella who are excited about the new group's ambitions and keen to work with them to support and promote their activities which embody the aims of BGU.

Existing litterpicking groups in Bolton please read on!! The new group is keen to encourage church members to join forces with existing litterpicking groups so you may get new volunteers to swell your ranks.

Below is a news article written by the group :

The Environmental Task and Finish Group, set up during the middle of the first national lockdown, was tasked with helping Bolton’s churches get greener. Now, as their title suggests, they are out to finish what they started. Or, rather, they are encouraging churches to do what Christians already believe is their responsibility: to care for creation, confident that God will finish what has been started.

The group is part of Passion 2030 which is the churches arm of Bolton 2030: a partnership between key local organisations supporting the people of Bolton to start, live and age well.

The six-man team have been finding a number of practical and prayerful means to help churches help their members help the environment.


One such way is through litter picking which, with care, can be done safely throughout lockdown and Tier 3 restrictions. Currently, four established church litter picking groups across Bolton are not only regularly cleaning-up their neighbourhoods, but adding another dimension through prayer.

Rachel Cowling of the Seven Saints litter picking team in Farnworth explained the concept: “When I picked up a sweet wrapper, I prayed for children. When I picked up a fast-food tray, I prayed for healthy eating and when I picked up surgical gloves, I prayed for the NHS.” The Seven Saints group benefitted from a grant through Bolton Green Umbrella which paid for the litter grabbers.

In addition, the Environmental Task and Finish Group is encouraging churches to audit how well they are doing in terms of protecting the planet through the Eco survey scheme provided by Christian Charity, A Rocha UK.  When the group first started sharing this resource, in May 2020, St Maxentius Church in Bradshaw had gained a silver award. Now, Oldhams Church in Astley Bridge and Farnworth Baptist Church have gained bronze awards, and 17 other Bolton churches have registered

As a way of raising awareness of environmental issues, the group organised a Zoom conference in October, watched by 110 people from 50 churches and Christian organisations; some with a national remit. As well as providing statistics and practical tips, the conference also included stories from people who had seen the difference that undertaking a church survey or litter picking had made. 10-year-old Roxy, who was also given a grant from Bolton Green Umbrella for her litter picking group, made a video for the conference.

See Litter Picking Superhero on Youtube


Having sensed an appetite for change amongst churches in Bolton, the Environmental Task and Finish Group will continue into the new year to help local church members and church-school pupils make practical lifestyle changes, such as eating local and seasonal, cycling instead of driving and draught-proofing their houses, as well as recycling, reusing and reducing.

2021 is a critical year for the UK with Glasgow hosting the COP 26 climate summit, in which nations’ representatives will discuss and agree to environmental courses of action, in November.

Here in Bolton, in 2021, the Environmental Task and Finish Group is also considering how they can play a part in the government’s Green Jobs Taskforce to support the creation of 2 million skilled jobs to reach net zero emissions by 2050, through a transition to a high-skill, low carbon economy.


If Bolton’s churches’ Environmental Task and Finish Group can support you in some way, please do get in touch via david.wyke@outlook.com.


 

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